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Chapter 2

Lectures in Time

The first lecture was set for the next day, Saturday afternoon. Dumbledore had given instructions that Madame Trelawney’s tower classroom could be used for the gathering as it had the most informal and comfortable seating. Only about 30 students had signed up but a few more actually showed up as some students dragged their friends, or in the case of the Patels, sister along. Hermione, of course, was seated near the front, quill at the ready, her face bright and eager and her hand ready to shoot up at any second.

Mika smiled as she cast her gaze across the room. Even after two thousand years, she thought, there were still some things she had never done. Teaching was one of those things. Though she looked like a very young woman, Mika was in fact the oldest person in the castle; even older than Dumbledore himself. Seeing all these young faces before her made her feel very very old indeed.

Taking a deep breath, Mika stood before the ‘class’ and held out her hands to shush their murmured conversations. “Hello, my name is Mika. This is not a formal class as I am not a teacher. I am a time traveller. This little gathering was Professor Dumbledore’s idea to perhaps enlighten you all to the wonders and dangers of messing about with time.

A hand went up immediately, and for once it was not Hermione.

“Yes?” Mika acknowledged the young man. “Please, tell me your name before you ask your questions,” she addressed to the whole room, “so I can get to know you all.”

“Um, please, Miss, are you magical or a muggle? Oh, and I’m Neville Longbottom.”
The whole room snickered, but it was a question that had been on most of their minds.

“Well,” Mika pondered, her hand stroking her chin, a habit she had picked up from an old companion who had worn a beard. “I suppose I am neither really. I’m more of what you would call a mythical creature. I’m an alien from outer space!”

The students laughed. “But you’re not green,” a voice called out.

“Well, you’re a witch but you don’t have a big wart on your nose,” she smiled back.

“Yet!” chimed in another as the whole room laughed and began to relax. They could tell that this was no ordinary class but a promise of fun and interesting conversation.

“Ok, guys, any other questions? I think that would be the best way to proceed; to address any questions or thoughts you might have on me or what I do.” She perched upon a pouffe and began to relax herself.

Another hand went up. “I heard that you were older than Dumbledore. Is that true?” This time it was Pavarta Patel.

Mika laughed. “Professor Dumbledore to you. Just because we’re informal doesn’t mean we can be disrespectful. I don’t know how old he is, but I am well over 3000 years old. I lose track of the exact years.”

This produced a gasp that went through the room. “But you look so young!” said one.

“And you’re so beautiful,” said another. The whole room seemed to agree. Neville blushed.

“Well,” Mika’s lovely cheeks glowed a light lavender. “Thank you very much. But I assure you that I am very old.”

Finally Hermione raised her hand. “Where exactly are you from then? And what exactly do you do?”

Mika smiled. Minerva had told her about this young witch. She was supposedly the brightest witch of her generation.

“Well, it’s a long long story, but I come originally from a planet called Mettulla Orionsis. It’s located in the Orion nebula, if any of you are familiar with astronomy.”

A Ravensclaw spoke up. “We are studying that this year. It’s important to know about the stars.” Several other classmates nodded their agreement.

“I couldn’t agree with you more,” Mika concurred. “My planet is very small and very cold. We have two moons and the light we get is mostly in the violet wavelengths. That’s why my favourite colour is purple,” she grinned, the class giggled.

“My people are also unique in that we are only female. Yes, that means that there are no men on my planet. We reproduce by means of plant pods. So we are also part plant.”

“Plant? Madame Sprout will be very interested in meeting you!” said Neville. He had found that plants were one thing he liked and was actually good at.

“How can you be part plant?” came a very snide voice. In the doorway stood Draco Malfoy and his usual cronies, Crabbe and Goyle.

“Easy, our people developed a symbiotic relationship and have evolved to include a vegetative component to our DNA. Through this evolution we have developed many good points, such as increased resistance to disease, and a longer life span. My people naturally live on average of 2200 years. We also have a regenerative cell structure which we can use to actually heal other beings.”

“You can heal people?”

“Just by touching them and concentrating. I can also communicate telepathically with any living being as long as they haven’t closed off their mind. But I don’t like to be so intrusive.”

“Wow,” they all murmured.

Even Malfoy seemed impressed. He came into the room further and took a seat. “So, how come you can travel in time, if you really can?”

“Oh, I assure you, I can. Long ago, a man was stranded on my planet. I helped him to repair his ship and he took me to his planet of Gallifrey. He was a timelord and he had an idea that perhaps I would make a good one too. So I was enrolled in the Academy of Time where I took classes just like you guys are doing for many, many years. Then I was given a time ship, my TARDIS, and I set off to roam the universe through space and time and help anyone who needed it.”

“So how did you come to be here?” asked Harry, exchanging a quick glare with Malfoy. He wasn’t about to be outdone in front of this new and pretty teacher.

“I have been to earth many times and I met Mrs. McGonagal a long time ago. We became friends. I was in the area and Professor Dumbledore kindly invited me to come and visit my old friend. Then he asked if perhaps I wouldn’t mind holding a few of these discussions and well, here I am!”

Everyone laughed and began asking other questions which she answered until the sun began to go down.

“Oh my, I do believe we’re going to miss dinner! I hope you all enjoyed this ‘class’. Feel free to come see me again every Saturday afternoon. And if you like, you can come and talk to me personally any time. I hope you consider me more of a friend than a teacher.”

Everyone rose to go. Some applauded and others came up to shake her hand and thank her for a most wonderful afternoon. Even Draco Malfoy came up and said thanks. The last to go was Hermione. She motioned Ron and Harry to go on without her as she approached Mika.

“Hermione is it?” she asked. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“All good I hope,” Hermione smiled. “I think these lectures are wonderful. This is a unique opportunity that no other witch or wizard has ever had I don’t wonder. To learn about travelling in time and outer space. I find it wholly fascinating.”

They walked out into the warm autumn night air together. The moon was just a bare sliver in the clear, starry sky. “Why thank you, Miss Granger. I would like you all to think of me as a friend.”

Hermione smiled. “I have a feeling we are going to be very good friends.”

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